Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 8, 2015


Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections for July 8, 2015

On July 8, 1776, the bell now known as the Liberty Bell rang in the tower of the Pennsylvania State House, now called Independence Hall, to announce the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.

Rung to call the Pennsylvania Assembly together and to summon people for special announcements and events, it was also rung on important occasions, such as King George III’s 1761 ascension to the British throne and, in 1765, to call the people together to discuss Parliament’s controversial Stamp Act. With the outbreak of the American Revolution in April 1775, the bell was rung to announce the battles of Lexington and Concord. Its most famous tolling, however, was on July 8, 1776, when it summoned Philadelphia citizens for the first reading of the Declaration of Independence.

The Liberty Bell inscription includes a reference to Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.”

The first of General William Tecumseh Sherman’s troops, under Major General Schofield, crossed the Chattahoochee River between Powers Ferry and Johnson Ferry on July 8, 1864.

Former United States Senator from Texas Phil Gramm (R) was born on July 8, 1942 in Columbus, Georgia, where his father was stationed at Fort Benning.

On July 8, 1975, President Gerald Ford announced his candidacy for President in the 1976 elections.

Georgia Politics, Campaigns, and Elections

Click here for appointments to Georgia state legislative study committees that will be working between now and the next Session.

DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis is due to be sentenced today after being convicted of perjury, attempted theft by extortion.

If you thought the runoff elections are pretty calm, you should see what’s going on in Forsyth County, where Sheri Gilligan and David Van Sant are trading blows. Sheri Gilligan, the candidate who led in the Special Election and came within two votes of winning outright says her credentials as a former CIA analyst have been questioned. Van Sant admitted to voting in Democratic primaries and donating to Democrat Michelle Nunn last year.

Gilligan has been endorsed by State Representatives Mike Dudgeon, Geoff Duncan, and Wes Cantrell and endorsed by State Senator Michael Williams.

A debate among candidates for House District 146 drew more than 100 potential voters, according to The Macon Telegraph.

As at other forums, candidates were asked about repealing the 6 cent gas price increase that went into effect July 1 as part of a $1 billion transportation plan.

[Kelly] Burke, 56, an attorney and a former Houston County district attorney, previously said he’d work to repeal the tax. He said Tuesday there are better ways to fund the state Department of Transportation than a tax increase.

Larry Walker III, 50, an insurance agency owner, said that repeal of the tax sounds good but noted the Georgia House of Representatives has many lawmakers. He said thinks most are interested in education, job creation, family values and issues other than the gas tax.

[Shaw] Blackmon, 42, president and CEO of National Bank Products, said he wouldn’t have voted for the tax but said it amounts to about $6 a month for the average Georgia driver.

All favored eliminating the testing required of K-12 students under the Common Core educational standards, a set of grade-level benchmarks that most states have adopted.

Former State Senator Doug Stoner (D) will run for Smyrna City Council Ward 6 in November.

Stoner represented Smyrna for 10 years at the State Capitol. Republican Hunter Hill ousted him from the Georgia Senate in 2012. Stoner ran for chairman of the Georgia Democratic Party in 2013 but lost to DuBose Porter.

He also served as chairman of the Cobb Transit Advisory Board, and is serving his 24th year as vice-chair of the Smyrna Downtown Development Authority.

Former Cobb County Sheriff’s Deputy Derrick Easterling will run for Mayor of Kennesaw, where Mayor Mark Matthews hasn’t announced whether he will run for reelection.

Dr. Nazeera Dawood is running for Johns Creek City Council Post 5 in the Special Election this November.

“I am flattered by the support my campaign has already received in such a short time,” Dr. Dawood said. “What I am most gratified with is how varied the contributions are. Local business leaders, excited Johns Creek homeowners, friends from across the state and local political leaders have all shown their support. It is a testament to how we will win – by bringing together the grassroots with local business leaders. This is a campaign of inclusion. We will lead Johns Creek forward to the next stage in our history as a city.”

Dr. Dawood has already garnered endorsements from former Fulton County Commissioner and State Representative Lynne Riley, State Rep. Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth) and Johns Creek City Councilman Bob Gray.

“Nazeera is inspired by a passion to serve others,” Riley said. “She displayed this care in her medical career. And she will devote her talents to deliver on the best for the citizens of Johns Creek.”

Georgia Ports Authority Seeks Inland Expansion

Georgia Ports Authority Executive Director Curtis Foltz said that an inland port in Cordele has been so successful the GPA is looking to expand the use of intermodal terminals removed from the Savannah Port.

The success of the state’s first inland port at Cordele, coupled with the growth of container traffic, has prompted Georgia Ports Authority to look for new ways to link the country’s fastest growing port with inland terminals around the state and beyond.

“The idea, which we’re calling Network Georgia, is to look at the state as six geographical zones and work with those zones to create a web of rail connections that will make access to the port easy and convenient,” said Curtis Foltz, GPA executive director.

“We want to work with the zones and the state to improve that connectivity, which will also improve economic development across the region.”

Two years ago, Gov. Nathan Deal and the GPA signed a memorandum of understanding with Cordele Intermodal Services that ensured a direct, 200-mile rail route between Cordele – located on Interstate 75 in the central part of the state – and the GPA’s Garden City Terminal.

Two years later, Cordele’s success has surprised even Foltz.

“Cordele has exceeded my expectations on the front end,” he said. “What it has done certainly speaks to the importance of inland rail.”

Ideally, Foltz said, in the next 10 years he would like to see a web of intermodal rail centers across the state.

“We’d like to see that rail and highway connectivity improve to the point that it won’t matter where you are, you will have a strong and efficient transportation network for your product.”

Presidential Politics

Yesterday, BuzzFeed picked up our interview with Sen. Ted Cruz and helpfully transcribed much of it.

The senator said that even though the Simpson siblings often fought they were tied together by love and “that is what a family is all about.”

“Look all families have tension,” said Cruz. “Show me siblings that don’t fight and I’ll show you people who are hollywood actors pretending to be siblings. Families have tensions but even in the Simpsons, at the end of the day, there is love that ties that family together that ties Homer and Marge and Lisa and Bart and little baby Maggie together. And that is what it takes—that is what a family is all about. Is the love between us.”

Former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore (R) told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that he will join the Republican field in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Gilmore, 65, Virginia’s governor from 1998 to 2002, broke the news late Tuesday in an exclusive telephone interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He said he does not think any other Republican candidates have addressed what he considers the vital national security and economic concerns facing the nation.

“I don’t think we’re addressing the threat to the country,” Gilmore said. He added: “I bring to the table experience that others don’t have.”

Gilmore, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer, was governor during the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. He later headed the Gilmore Commission, a congressional panel that advised Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush on domestic capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio are expected to enter the GOP contest this month. In August Gilmore would become the 17th prominent Republican in the field, not counting Mark Everson, former IRS commissioner under President George W. Bush.

For those who couldn’t attend the Independence Day Celebration at Rock Springs Church this past weekend, here are the full speeches by United States Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Senator David Perdue (R-GA) and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee (R).<<
Todd Rehm Ted Cruz

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